From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
I’ve set up a new page on the site called The Buy-In.
For a few months now I’ve been considering the cost of wargames, and the value they do or don’t offer to the gamer. Wargames can be a funny beast. They are generally modular in that while the game asks you to build an army, it’s a rare game system that will actually sell you “an army”.
Instead, you are generally expected to buy a book first, decide on what you want, and then purchase a series of modular products that together will form your army. The advantage of this is the massive customisation that this allows. Each army is bespoke to its player. Even two armies made up of mostly the same units and characters will look quite different once two gamers have painted them. No two armies will look alike.
The downside is that you are expected to make your most fundamental purchasing decisions when you know the least about the game. It can be a confusing and expensive learning curve.
The buy-in has been created in an effort to reduce the confusion, give gamers an idea of what starting up in a given system may cost them. Modular war games are of course open ended, and you can have as many armies of whatever size you like. The Buy-In is there to give you an idea of what starting up in a system from scratch and getting to a force size where you can play reasonable games is going to cost you.
Prices are based on Australian retail prices as this is where this blog is based. The list would most likely change depending on which country you are in. In Australia Games Workshop products typically cost 180%-$220% of their home market cost. SAGA costs 25%-50% more. War Machine and Hordes can be had for 90%-110% of their home market price. This creates a lot of variance not because of the game systems but because of the efficiency or otherwise of supply chains, and let’s not get into that. The prices are presented as they are to an Australian gamer, without judgement. I’d welcome anyone from the US, UK, Germany or anywhere else doing a similar list up for their market.